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by Dr. Lawrence Nannery
2022-11-18 07:17:44
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It’s really bright in there, in the bathroom with the theatrical vanity.
Peroxide Mary is in front of the mirror, busy with her implements.
She’s got the mascara, and the eyeliner, and the foundation and the powder and the lipstick,
But most of all she’s got the tweezers, and right now she’s working up inside her nose.

Everything in there is white, and not least the back of her head, which is so very blonde
That everyone swears it is peroxided, but that is unfair and untrue.
She was born that way, and she’ll die that way, but if it ever goes grey, but only then,
Would she peroxide the thing, by God.  Never let herself go.

Josie is hanging at the door.
“Mommy, I gotta go!”
“O.K., sweetie, mommy will be out in a minute.”
“You said that an hour ago!”

Mary is going out tonight.  She turns herself sideways to look to see if she’s lost any weight.
God! But a woman has to work hard to keep herself in shape,
Keep herself so that she will be noticed, get them to come on to her.
Her judgment: if she has lost any weight it sure hasn’t begun to show.

Suddenly, a horror.  Those hairs growing on her skull look like dog’s hairs.
Now the tweezers get a real workout.  Not enough; not enough.
Now her nose goes doggy.  Soon it will be a licorice Dot!
More powder!  More powder!

Mommy will come out when she can.
Mommy has to take off all her clothes and look at herself in the mirror.
What she sees is awful.  Awful.  Everything is too big, too big and flabby.
As she watches, the fat begins to rearrange itself, everything gathering in the middle.

“Too fat! Too fat!” she cries, and the child within and the child without repine and wail.
Josie then hears strange sounds, then a bang, then a thump, and now the door
Swings open and reveals mommy on the floor, weeping down to her foundation.
She rushes to her and takes the masked and yellow-feathered skull in her lap.

“Weep for me, my baby,” instructs Mary.  “It is the fate of womankind to grow gross.
My life is over.  It’s too absurd.  I’ve done it all: laughed at their jokes, lent them money,
Given them blowjobs in dirty alleys. …
They’re a bunch of bastards, just in it for what they can get out of you.
Then, when they’re finished with you, or you gain a few pounds,
They walk off with some chicken head, and never look back, and there’s nothing you can do.”

The child comprehends and lovingly responds: “Mom, you could just stay home with me and Billy,
And we could watch television together, and eat popcorn.”
“The hell!” cries Peroxide Mary, “I’d rather die first!
Help me up child, this broad’s going out tonight and she’s gonna dance!”


Check Dr. Lawrence Nannery's Poetry Collection:
"Translations from the Cinema"
You can download them for FREE HERE!

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